Who Is Lucy at the Natural History Museum?

Lucy is a famous fossil of a hominid species that lived millions of years ago. She is one of the most significant discoveries in the field of paleoanthropology and has helped scientists better understand human evolution. Lucy’s remains were discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia by a team of archaeologists led by Dr. Donald Johanson.

The Discovery

The discovery of Lucy was a groundbreaking moment in the field of paleoanthropology. Prior to her discovery, researchers had only found small fragments of early human remains, making it difficult to learn about our evolutionary history.

Lucy’s skeleton was nearly complete, with over 40% of her bones recovered. Her discovery allowed researchers to study an early hominid species in greater detail than ever before.

Who Was Lucy?

Lucy belonged to a species called Australopithecus afarensis, which lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. She stood about three and a half feet tall and weighed approximately 60 pounds.

Based on an analysis of her bones, scientists believe that Lucy was bipedal, meaning she walked on two legs like modern humans. This was a significant development in human evolution and paved the way for our ancestors to walk upright.

Why Is Lucy Important?

Lucy’s discovery has provided valuable insights into human evolution and has helped scientists better understand our origins. Her skeleton showed that early hominids were capable of walking upright, which was a critical step in the development of modern humans.

Additionally, Lucy’s discovery challenged previously held beliefs about human evolution. Prior to her discovery, many scientists believed that the brain had evolved before bipedalism. However, Lucy’s skeleton showed that bipedalism came first, with brain size increasing later on.

Where Can You See Lucy?

Lucy’s remains are housed at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. However, replicas of her skeleton can be seen at museums around the world, including the Natural History Museum in London.

The Natural History Museum’s exhibit on human evolution features a replica of Lucy’s skeleton, allowing visitors to learn about this important archaeological find and its significance in the study of human evolution.


Lucy is a fascinating and important discovery that has helped shape our understanding of human evolution. Her nearly complete skeleton provided valuable insights into the development of bipedalism and challenged previously held beliefs about the evolution of the brain.

Today, Lucy’s legacy lives on through exhibits and displays at museums around the world, allowing people to learn about this remarkable discovery and its significance in our evolutionary history.